Irresistible Chocolate, Hazelnut & Date Spread
Welcome to chocolate & hazelnut heaven, my fellow foodies. This spread is never misplaced when it comes to sweet combinations; you can add this into your porridge, granola bowl, spread it onto a piece of toasted rye bread or dip your finger right into the jar – come on, we’ve all done that!
To be honest, I was never really a fan of store-bought chocolate spreads because even as a child, I found them way too sweet. My mum then found a healthier version from some organic store, and it had a noticeably stronger hazelnut taste. Making such spreads at home is obviously the ultimate solution because you have full control about how hazelnutty, chocolaty and sweet you’d like your spread to be. Alright, let’s see how it’s done!
everyone loves dating
Dates are my absolute favourite item in the pantry! I enjoy their creamy texture, their caramelly aroma, their sweet taste and what I love the most is that fortunately, they happen to be good for me! They grow on date palm trees in Northern Africa, the Middle East and South Asia and provide us with a broad variety of essential nutrients. Not only are they a good source of dietary potassium, but 20% of a ripe date is made up of fiber, protein and trace elements such as copper, magnesium, selenium and zinc. The remaining 80% of dates are made up of sugar which is why they are relatively high in carbohydrates. We also find a selection of antioxidants in dates, including flavonoids, carotenoids and phenolic acid, which all contribute to preventing chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s. While both fresh and dried dates are delicious, they have a different nutritional profile: fresh dates are lower in sugar and higher in vitamin C, but dried dates are higher in fiber, calcium and iron. Most of the dates that we buy in Western countries have already been dried, which is a great way of conserving them. However, if you’ve never tasted a fresh date and are curious to try them, go ahead and buy them in your local Middle Eastern supermarket. Now chop chop, let’s make this nutty & chocolatey chocolate spread!
Prep Time: 5 min
Total Time: 20 min
Servings: 1 jar (about 350g)
For this recipe you will need:
1 1/2 cups / 200g hazelnuts
3/4 cup /100g dates, soaked in hot water for 15 min
1/4 cup / 30g cocoa
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 tbsp date soaking water
pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 180°C and roast the hazelnuts for 10 minutes. Allow them to cool, then remove the skins by rubbing the nuts in a tea towel.
- Place the nuts in a food processor and pulse until a creamy nut butter has formed (I find that this works a lot quicker with hazelnuts than for example with almonds, maximum 5 minutes).
- Drain the dates but keep some of the water aside. Add the dates to the hazelnut butter along with a pinch of salt, vanilla extract and cacao. Blend it all together until smooth and then add some of the date water until a smooth, spreadable consistency is achieved.
- Congratulations, my fellow foodie, you just whipped together your own delicious chocolate spread that might not survive the weekend! You can eat this on a slice of bread, dip apple wedges into it, spread it onto a dried fig or eat it straight off the spoon (I am certainly guilty of the latter).